What do Winnie the Pooh and John the Baptist have in common? (See Footnote 1, below.)
What do the tonsils, appendix and foreskin have in common?
Cutting the tonsils, appendix and foreskin from infants and children was high fashion in the 1950’s and 1960’s (as were hysterectomies for women). If a child had a history of too many sore throats, tonsils and adenoids were removed; if a child had a sore abdomen, the appendix was removed. If the child was born with male genitals, the foreskin was removed – and other parts were also cut from the genitalia of girls. “If in doubt, cut it out.”
Tonsils and appendixes usually were removed because they were considered to be diseased. Sometimes, however, they were removed to “prevent” them from becoming diseased. People figured nature had made careless errors when designing an otherwise amazingly brilliant machine.
One young boy I knew came home with an appendectomy. I asked why. He said his mom had taken him to the emergency room for a tummy ache. “What did you have for lunch?” I asked him. When he began to recount the food he had eaten before his surgery, it was obvious to me that he had suffered from severe gas in his intestines. His lunch with a friend had consisted of several bologna sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches – all on white bread – that he had washed down with several glasses of lemonade. Jeez! I’d’ve had a tummy ache too – Wouldn’t you? But the doctor had neglected to ask. He just cut.
Then someone determined that the tonsils and appendix have important immune system functions. So a huge number of children who are now adults lost valuable parts of their bodies due to lack of that important understanding. Deficient in insight and wisdom, many members of the medical profession just cut and cut and cut. Tonsils and appendixes are now removed only in severe medical conditions.
Nature was vindicated. Fashion changed and American doctors no longer routinely performed tonsillectomies and appendectomies; they moved on to hysterectomies and gall bladders. Good riddance! Yet after all those other surgeries came and went, foreskins are still amputated because they are still considered to be nature’s secret little mistake – and are not to be spoken of above a whisper.
In the Victorian age, when puritanical values ruled, people thought it was risqué to show an ankle and pornography was hard to come by. No good American dared to speak of the penis or its foreskin except in hushed tones to a medical doctor. Doctors claimed they had found the solution to masturbation. They then declared that masturbation was the cause of a plethora of diseases. They began a war on male and female genitalia – healthy genitalia.
In 1888, John Harvey Kellogg, M.D., inventor of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, wrote in his Treatment for Self-Abuse and its Effects:
A remedy [for masturbation] which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision… the operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice [masturbation], and if it had not previously become so firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him more cunning in his vice. (See footnote 2.)
In short, “Let’s discourage masturbation/pleasure with pain.” Circumcision has been a cruel and unsuccessful experiment. We now know full well that it didn’t work. One survey shows that men without foreskins masturbate more frequently and participate in more dangerous sexual activities (oral and anal) than those with foreskins. And yet both the good Doctor Kellogg’s cruel circumcision recommendation – and breakfast cereal (specifically designed to reduce libido) – “stuck” in the public’s mind and endure to this day.
After the fear of masturbation became a less compelling reason to cut children’s private parts, the medical industry would still not let go of the practice, as it was so profitable. Since Kellogg’s time, claim after claim, excuse after excuse has contributed to holding the circumcision door open, In the 1970’s nearly every boy in America lost his foreskin. Unfortunately, most trusting American parents are glued to the “circumcision is good for you” sales pitch. They think of circumcision as a surgical panacea for what ails you. In truth, each and every attempt to justify the routine circumcision of infants has been disproved and discarded. Still, they test the waters, blaming every possible physical, mental and emotional aberration on genitals as nature made them.
Doctors continue to circumcise little babies for a few main reasons:
- They are business people who have bills to pay and circumcision is a quick snip, an easy buck – that unfortunately causes a lifetime of sexual dissatisfaction for the adult and his partner.
- They have not yet been educated in the important functions of the foreskin.
- They haven’t yet realized their legal liability. The American Medical Association (AMA) has warned its members to “take the high road of ethics,” but it has not yet warned them of the legal ticking time bomb inherent in this deceptively simple, profitable, profoundly abusive, non-medical procedure.
- They have not listened to their patients (the babies) as they scream, “No!” at the top of their lungs.
- They have not listened to their own hearts as their tiny patients scream, “No!”
Tonsils and appendices were finally determined to have important immune system functions, so they are now usually spared the knife. But foreskins are still routinely removed, even though they are healthy human tissue. Studies by Taylor and Cold reveal that the foreskin provides important immune system functions, as well as the tonsils and appendices. If you can teach an old doctor new tricks, perhaps there’s hope for the survival of future foreskins.
In the meanwhile, parents might want to practice saying, “Thank you, but no thank you,” to all their friends, family members and medical personnel who press for circumcision. And once the foreskin has been saved from the human tissue sales industry, you may also need to explain to doctors and nurses that it’s not ok to retract the foreskin – Let Junior do that for himself, in his own time. Foreskin retraction is dangerous, malpractice and should be pursued as such if the M.D. or nurse manages to do the deed. What is it about these people and babies’ genitals?
1. What do Winnie the Pooh and John the Baptist have in common? They have the same middle name.
2. Kellogg, John Harvey. Plain Facts for old and young: Embracing the natural history and hygiene of organic life. I.F. Senger & Co., Burlington, Iowa, 1891, p.111.